A new video in which we reveal the secrets behind all those ocean-crossing miles…
2016 boats – a few of my fav’s. It is no secret that one of my favorite subjects to photograph is boats or parts of boats. I LOVE shrimpers which was pretty apparent as I was going though my photos to find my 2016 boats favorites. So here they are – big boats, little boats and […]
We hope everyone had a happy holiday season. Our Christmas holidays were spent at the City Marina in St. Augustine while visiting with family and friends. We have stayed on the mooring balls here before but this was our first time at the city docks. We enjoyed the proximity to town and kept busy each […]
It’s been a hectic week. Red Head was hauled for some out of the water work causing the kids to make some adjustments. We are at Hinckley Yacht Services in Stuart and the manager, Brian, kindly offered us the use of a conference room to hold the kids. …
Except for a brief transit around the Palm Beach area, we’ve not traveled the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Dirona. In our first leg along the ICW, we headed 12 miles south from Portsmouth, Virginia to the town of Great Bridge. Depths were at least 10 feet all the way, except for about 8.5ft at Great…
|DOMINO at anchor in Baie de l’Orphelinat, Noumea|
|NOVEMBER RAIN at anchor in Baie de l’Orphelinat, Noumea|
Who showed up 3 days ago in Noumea? None other than our Kiwi buddies Garry and Lori, the fisherman/woman extraordinaire on board their Malcolm Tennant Powercat “November Rain.”
|DOMINO and NOVEMBER RAIN side by side|
|NOVEMBER RAIN at Ile d’Ouen|
|Ile des Pins|
|DOMINO at anchor… between stops|
|Adieu, New Caledonia|
|A weary octopus is eyeing me!|
|Juvenile yellow boxfish|
7th Stop – Ile Tenia – 22*00.115S – 165*56.567E –
|Juvenile Clown Coris|
|“Big Ben” – The biggest ever|
|How well do you know your coral?|
|Reef is everywhere|
|Ndukue… what is there not to like?|
|So many Murex|
Found another Triton!
10th Stop: Ile Moro – 22*07.008S – 166*09.862E – Another cool little anchorage by calm weather.
|The Great North Reef at Ile Pott|
|Our Great North Circuit: from Baie de Pam to Balabio and the Beleps (Ile Art, Ile Pott)|
|Balabio Reef and Island|
1st stop: BALABIO – 20*03.500S – 164*09.800E – The Balabio Reef is extensive. Our friends Serge & Joann (S/V “Spirare”) had advised us to anchor west of the Ilots Saint-Phalle (20*06.632S – 164*06.239E) and walk the reef at low tide, but the tide was not with us: high at mid-day, the tide would be low by late afternoon and there was no way we were going to anchor in such an exposed area and walk the reef at night. We had to pass on this excellent stop.
|Between Balabio and the Beleps: The Daos|
|The reef is quite beat-up and home to big jellyfish (rather inoffensive)
whose large white disks dot the way into Balabio
The reef on the north end of the bay was a bit beaten up, still it was lovely to snorkel amid anemones, find giant clams again, spot a few spiny lobsters and look for the little creatures between the rocky crags. On shore, though, is where we were blown away by the geology. Quartz in all colors, mauve, orange, purple; amorphous glass; so many pretty granites that I wanted to load and bring on board!
|Unlike the smooth giant clams we’d seen before, these have scallopped shells|
|In Waala, the local girls are the ones going up the coconut tree!|
|Waala Bay, Ile Art (Beleps) – The inner mall-boat harbor.|
|Waala Bay: red sand and gravel shore|
|Ile Art (Beleps) Waala Bay anchorage|
|Waala Bay… see the yello mark on shore, left of the pangas? That’s the Chief’s compound.
Make sure to head towards the church before turning left toward the mooring balls
Make sure to favor the east end in order to avoid the reef (save your dinghy’s prop!) The Chief is cool. He took us to the great “Case” and accepted our gifts, chatted for a while… and off we were, OK to visit the entire Great North!
|The Chief clears us in!|
|The conch rang: time to go for bread, hand-worked and wood-fire baked!|
|In October, the water is not too warm… and the spiny lobsters plentiful!|
|Snorkeling the top of the reef, you can find these giant Tritons.
Take pix and put them back. Not only are they illegal to take, but they are the only
natural predators to the reef-eating Acanthaster
|The way into Pott’s anchorage|
|Striking purple coral|
|Fern seastar: this starfish sports up to 20 arms and buries its body into coral holes and between rocks|
|Our route: Kouakoue, Port Bouquet, Lifou, Ouvea,
Beautemps-Beaupre, Hienghene, Baie de Pam
Nice snapper, right? Except that we both got Ciguatera poisoning from it!
Better stay away from lagoon fish.
Port Bouquet – Before dropping anchor, scan the bottom!
Marbled grouper on the line… uhm…. not to big, will attempt eating it… Ciguatera warning!
Dog-tooth Tuna: all day long!
Hienghene River… Can you say GREEN?
“Tour Notre Dame”… AKA “La Poule” (The Hen)
But Hienghene got my attention, stole my heart, and I actually went on a 3-hour walk in the hills. It’s a MUST !!!
The green inner lagoon inside the Chester Cliffs
Baie de Pam
All I managed to catch was a Giant Estuarine Moray
Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base with ships ranging from aircraft carriers to destroyers to nuclear submarines. Navy ships are moored on both sides of the the channel into Norfolk, with security patrol craft in the air. The city also has a large and busy shipping port. As a fitting envoy, we…